Preserve dignity of disaster victims, don’t donate used clothes – DSWD

Published September 26, 2018, 4:38 PM

by Patrick Garcia

By Ellalyn de Vera Ruiz

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) on Wednesday asked the public to refrain from donating used clothes to maintain the dignity, health, and well-being of families affected by disasters.

Department of Social Welfare and Development logo (MANILA BULLETIN)

“We ask for the understanding of donors but we do not want to further degrade the dignity and compromise the health of disaster survivors by giving them used clothes, especially those that are unfit to use anymore,” DSWD Secretary Virginia Orogo said.

She pointed out that consistent with the provision of Republic Act 4653, DSWD will adhere to the “no used clothing donation” policy to support the local garment industry and prevent health hazards, which may be transmitted through used clothing.

DSWD-Central Visayas has received a donation of used clothes for the affected families of the Naga City landslide, which were unfit to use.

“We apologize but due to the continuing disaster response operations in various areas, our personnel is very limited and we want to focus on other important tasks instead of just sorting out what is usable and not usable for the evacuees,” Orogo said.

DSWD-Central Visayas encouraged the public to instead donate hygiene kits, milk, school supplies, blankets, mats, pillows, children diapers, new sets of clothes and adult undergarments, eco bags, and big plastic boxes because these are what the evacuees need at present.

The city government of Naga has activated a centralized distribution system to ensure a more organized process of relief distribution and acceptance of donation from possible donors.

Those who would want to donate or host free meals for evacuees may coordinate with the Naga city hall’s donation desk for scheduling and other related concerns.

More evacuees

Following the forced evacuation of residents living in the one-kilometer fall back from the danger zone area, additional evacuation centers were opened by the Naga City local government to accommodate more residents.

To date, DSWD is assisting 1,665 families or 7,381 individuals affected by the landslide, of which, 1,597 families or 7,113 individuals are staying in 11 evacuation centers in the five affected barangays while the rest are staying with relatives or friends.

Staff members from the DSWD-Central Visayas are now on 24-hour duty to lead in the camp coordination and camp management of evacuation centers in coordination with the local government and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office of Cebu.

Social workers are also assisting in the conduct of other services organized by concerned agencies, schools, and non-government organization-partners such as hand washing activity, story-telling and role -playing for children, psychosocial debriefing, medical missions, and film viewing of Sinulog movie entries.

DSWD has so far extended relief support and financial assistance worth ₱4,123,825.44 to the affected families.